Wednesday, September 30, 2009


something i need.

something hard to find.

something even harder to hold onto once found.

"Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying."
Romans 12:12 NLT

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here she is!

Yes, I know I'm not either of the parents...but they've already posted some pictures on facebook. These are just the ones i had on my phone that look the best and won't get anyone mad at me for sharing them! :) (So, I'm sorry, but there are no pictures of Mommy & baby...)

Her name is Belle Elyana (El-yan-na), she was born yesterday, September 17th, and she is amazing. Her name means 'beauty' and 'God has answered' (it is an English-type "translation" of a Hebrew word). I love her so much! I wish I could have stayed longer! ;)

Ok, here she is!

With her Daddy:

Her pretty self - she was very sleepy today!:

Oh, the sweetness...
Thanks for indulging me on this one. ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Today (most likely) I will become (officially) an aunt.
I was excited before, and I'm sure when it's my own kids I'll be even more excited, but I'm more excited about this little girl than I thought I could be. I'm distracted. I can't wait to see her, meet her, hold her, love her. I get to see her tomorrow. AH! My little brother is about to be a daddy! Coolest thing ever.

Just had to get that out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hope is an Interesting Thing

I have found myself hoping for many things lately, probably due in part to the stress I have been feeling.

I hope to feel closer to God, rather than farther away like I do now.
I hope to get better at my devotional time.
I hope to be a better Christian.
I hope to be a better witness.
I hope I stop feeling so stressed.
I hope my niece is born soon.
I hope to find a husband.
I hope to have children of my own.
I hope to be a better friend.
I hope to be more positive.
I hope I am encouraging to those around me, even in tough situations.

Some of these things require diligence, patience, and work on my part. Some of them require patience, and waiting on God. All of them require faith - and that will only be steady as I grow. If I become stagnant, I will not remain faithful.

I hope I can continue to grow.
I hope I can be patient.

I know my Hope will see me through.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have seen many comments, posts, statuses, etc. today about this day eight years ago.

Most of them have been prayers, or "Do you remember where you were"-type things.

It made me think: I can hardly believe that it has been that long. But I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, 8 years is really quite short. And I can't quite wrap my mind around that yet.

I was in my sophmore year of college. I had gotten up that morning, to get ready for work. My roommate got up, turned on the news, watched it for approximately 2 minutes, then headed for the shower. As soon as I woke up enough to drag myself out of bed, I went to change the channel (I don't particularly enjoy the news, especially early in the morning). It had to be just before 8:00 am (cst), as I had to be at work at 8:30 to open. I flipped to channel 9 (wgn - the channel I can bear news from in the morning while I wait to see the weather for the day) and it took me only a split-second to realize that 5 (nbc), 7 (abc) & 9 (wgn) were all showing the same picture.

That never happens. 5 & 7, sure, but not 9 too...

I flipped back to 7 (abc - I trust their news more when I really want to pay attention) and watched the first tower smoking, listening to the newscasters, etc., discussing what may have happened, what may be going on. I'd been watching for about 5 minutes. I was not moving from the spot standing in front of our tiny tv. As I listened/watched, another plane flew into the shot, and a fire-ball exploded out the other side. The man speaking stopped mid-sentence and said without taking a breath "Oh my god! What is going on?!?!?"

My heart dropped. "This is crazy," I thought. "What is going on?"

About that time, my roommate came back into the room from her shower.
"Are you watching the news?!?!"
"Why? What's going on?"
"Oh. (pause) Wow. What happened?"
"I don't know. I was watching and they were trying to figure it out, and this other plane flew into the shot and hit the second tower about a minute ago."
... silence ...
"Shoot. We have to go to work, like now."

Once we arrived at work, we spent the morning sending eachother back (or having people sent up) to give us updates to the news they were listening to on the radio. That's how I found out about the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, as well as the one in the field.

Most of the day was spent in shock for all of us. This stuff just doesn't happen here. We're too safe, too comfortable.

I remember that at work we listened to Michael W. Smith's worship album all day.
I remember that I prayed for our country and our president, our the firefighters, the military, and those who were wondering and beginning to grieve.
I remember chapel being open all day with a constant service - prayer, worship, conversation.
I remember that our choir director spent time with us in prayer and we sang a few worship songs, but we did not rehearse because he didn't want us to forever correlate those songs we were working on with that day, that event.
I remember a professor in the evening who was so stuck on the rules that he did not dismiss us in time to hear the president's speech.
I remember wishing I understood more, and being frustrated at people for criticizing the nation's leaders so quickly, before all the details were even figured out.
I remember the fear that San Francisco, Denver, or Chicago would be next.
I remember the country on red alert for weeks, months afterward.

6 months later, I was in New York City with my choir on a tour. A few of us went to Ground Zero to see what was being done. There were walls of memoriums, pictures, candles, crosses, prayers. They were blanketing the blocks surrounding the site. One of the most moving experiences. I remember thinking, "Oh my word. This is where it happened. This is where that was that I was watching on my tv in my room."

It made me realize that many people (more than I had ever admitted to myself) turn to "religion" only when they "need" it. But they don't realize that they always need it. It was crazy to see/hear that many people, including newscasters and politicians - who have to be so careful - praying and talking about God and heaven constantly on tv, in newspapers, on the radio. It made me realize how lucky I was to know God personally before that event, and to know that even if something happened to me or my loved ones, I knew the end result of my life. I knew that my purpose was whatever He deemed it to be.

Whenever this day comes along (a week after my birthday), I always am reminded of the tragedy, and the unbelief I was feeling that day. I pray for those who are still grieving, for those who lost loved ones, for those who are still unable to move forward.

And I thank God that still, despite it all, He has been faithful.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Yes, I am a geek.

...just in case you didn't already know. I reconfirmed this fact with myself yesterday. (And I should be working right now, but I just had to get this out there before I got so busy I forgot.)

I literally got so excited about a couple Excel equations that I found/figured out that I had to call my dad and share it with him. And, of course, we shared about a 10-minute (or so) conversation about it, even though both of us were still at work and still had many things to do. Thrilling. No, really, except for the topic, we sounded like 2 little kids excited over the shiny new toy we were sharing.

EDIT: My dad (who knows so many things that many call him a genius) also taught me how to pronounce "concatenate" which I couldn't do for the life of me, much to his amusement. In case you are wondering it is "con-CAT-uh-nate." :) And it made me laugh because he was laughing so much over my inability to pronounce this word. end edit.

haha. *sheepish smile*

It's just that it made some things I was doing SO much easier, AND faster! So sweet. So exciting!

Oh yes, I am a geek...

...and, I am my father's daughter.
Absolutely no doubt about that either. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mmm, coffee...

It does a body good... :)

This morning (thanks to a birthday gift card) I got some Starbucks coffee. A huge one, too. It definitely is doing its job of keeping me awake...and I think this may be the first time I was able to finish one that large!

Thanks to the coffee, and the worship music I've got on at my desk, I'm in a better mood than yesterday. So far, there has not been anything unexpected. I realize the day is still young, and that there is potential for that, but so far it hasn't happened today. Which is good, because I'm actually getting the other stuff done... well, started at least. :)

So, I failed the challenge miserably yesterday, but today I'm doing better.

And I give all the praise to God!
2 Corinthians 12:10

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

er... challenge...


Challenge #2

Do you remember the challenge I placed to myself back in May? I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, and decided to see if I could succeed at the challenge to have a better day. I logged my progress a few times so anyone who wanted to could see how I was doing and keep praying for me as well. I (unexpectedly by the end of the day) came out on top.

Today, I'm trying the challenge again.

I will pray. I will strive to keep my attitude in check. I will accomplish what needs to get done with as little stress as possible. And hopefully, the rest of today - and this week -will be better.

I have already failed this today, and am feeling like the tunnel keeps getting darker and deeper, more winding and confusing. Which is why I'm trying to keep this challenge in the front of my mind.

I covet your prayers, and will try to let you know how I do at the end of the day.
As I already know, this challenge is not easy, but it can be good, and only done with God's help.

And we begin...

the new week is here.

it is "short" but it will be very long.

and i can almost be guaranteed to work more than normal anyway due to the nature of the week and the projects it contains.

God give me the strength, the energy, and the excitement i need.

i sure won't have it without You.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Today, I celebrate.

Yup. It's my birthday.

And, (apparently) I like the word "yup." I've used it too much in my typing lately... along with "apparently"...

Today, I am blessed to have been given 27 years on this planet, and to have spent 22 of them as a child of God. How much better can it get?

Life may not be easy, but I sure am thankful today.

Thankful for the several/many (I didn't count) friends who have wished me "happy birthday" on facebook or via email - both old and new and in-between. Including a link to a song from my brother, which made me laugh (though I don't really like the show) because I could hear him singing it in my head (though I've never heard him singing that particular song either - i don't think - but I know the voice he uses to mimick such things). I laughed out loud. Thanks Drew.

I am thankful that I am breathing. I am thankful that I have a place to live, a job to support me, and friends and family who care for me. And for the Starbucks treat that came my way unexpectedly today (a venti (L) drink for the price of a different (cheaper) grande (M), and a coupon for a free drink the next time I decide I'd like Starbucks). Mm. nice.

Plus, I'm looking forward to a long weekend (thanks for the labor-day weekend always around my birthday) with friends, family, friends, family, and possibly more friends.

Today, I feel like I can do anything.
Today, I celebrate.

I am Kara, hear me roar.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

OH my.

So... yesterday evening, I had an actual, genuine thought that I wished it was Christmas & winter.

Yes, folks, I am sick.

It happened rather out-of-the-blue. It was not due to some random music thing on my ipod, or an old movie with a Christmas moment on tv. No, it was soap.

That's right, soap.

I was cleaining my house up a bit in anticipation of my parents being over on Saturday, and I realized that my almost-empty hand soap dispenser laying on it's side looked a little ghetto. Ok, ok, maybe not ghetto, but it looked pretty sad/bad/tacky. Yikes. And seeing as my dad hasn't been to my new digs since he delivered the piano 2 days after I moved in, back in May, I think I should at least try to present a good front, regardless of how much I have to shove in closets or under the bed. ;) Needless to say, I began digging in my collection of "extras" in the cabinet - extra toothpaste, extra shampoo, extra medicine, extra soap. I found to my happy surprise that I had not 1 (as I expected) but 2 (!) soaps to choose from! Consequently, I pulled them out and took a whiff to decide which to replace the old-practically-empty one on my counter. They both smell fabulous, but the 1st was a smell that told my brain "this is good for cold weather. It's a comforting, warming, cozy smell. Like at Christmas." Seriously. That was what ran through my head. SO I put it back under the counter, and pulled out the vanilla scented soap for now.

As I walked into my living room (windows wide open, mind you) to continue with my evening plans of working on a cross stitch ... thing ... for my almost-here-niece, I smelled the fresh, cool air, and (coming off of the soap thoughts) I thought (or may have actually said aloud to myself) "Wow. I wish it was Christmas. I wish it was snowy and cold and there were Christmas lights out." Then I laughed (this time I know it was out loud) and thought, "It's September 1st. SEPTEMBER 1ST!!!"

Laughing, I immediately called my mother (who's from California) - who just wishes it would snow ONLY on Christmas eve, and then go back to being warm the rest of the year - to share this little story with her. I knew she'd get a kick out of my craziness. She did. She laughed and said, "You and Dad. You really are your father's daughter." (He'd like to live in a cooler climate - by water, or in the mountains.) I told her I think mabye God made a mistake, and should have dumped me in the Alps or something when I was born... which she disagreed with, of course. But maybe then I wouldn't love it so much. Mabye the (tiny) contrast of a Chicago summer is what I needed to enjoy the season of winter so much. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love all the seasons in their place, but I think Spring is the respite I need when I finally get sick of Winter, and Fall is the anticipation of Winter, and Summer is the "oh my word, this is why I love Winter."

Yes, on September 1st, I was anticipating Christmas.
I was a tad disgusted with myself, but all in all, I really do love the coldness and the Christmas, and the cheer. So mabye that doesn't count for disgusted.

I promise to try (really, really hard) not to post about Christmas again for at least a month, but I just had to share this -- it was too good to pass up, and to indicative of who I am and where my mind goes... all to often!